Wednesday 23 May 2018

Pochettino hails Spurs' fight in stalemate

West Brom 1-1 Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham's Harry Kane in action with West Brom's Gareth McAuley
James McClean celebrates scoring his first goal for West Brom

Nick Mashiter

Mauricio Pochettino insisted Tottenham dropped two points at West Brom - despite setting a club record in the Premier League.

Spurs were held at The Hawthorns yesterday to extend their unbeaten run in the top flight to 14 games, their best spell in 30 years.

James McClean's first Albion goal cancelled out Dele Alli's opener and Spurs had to rely on a splendid Hugo Lloris save, when the keeper denied Jonas Olsson, to earn a point.

The visitors relinquished control of the game after the opener and Pochettino rued the missed chance to break into the top four for the first time this season.

"I am more disappointed because we dropped two points," the Argentinian said. "At the same time we are proud it is 14 games unbeaten. The conditions were difficult to play, it didn't help us against a very good side. I feel very proud of the players, the effort was amazing but we feel a little bit disappointed because we dropped two points."

Lloris' reactions denied Olsson in the second half when he turned the defender's poked volley over from point blank range. "I think it was a great save, I can say he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. We are lucky he is at Tottenham with us," said Pochettino.

"There are always rumours about the players but we want to keep him for the future, not only for the present. We want to build the next squad and the future with him. He is very happy with us."

And Pochettino admitted past Spurs sides could have crumbled after conceding and praised their character.

"I think the group we have is very strong. It's a good test and opportunity to show us we can compete," he added. "Arsenal dropped three points here and for us it's a great test to show we can fight."

West Brom assistant head coach Dave Kemp filled in for Tony Pulis who has flu and, with the Baggies unbeaten in their last three games, Kemp believes they deserved to win.

"We came off disappointed we had not won," he said. "It was not part of the plan to go a goal down but we have to be pleased with the way we came back. We have that ability to take the game to good teams and to have the character and confidence to do that is very pleasing.

"Some weeks it is brilliant, some weeks not so good and some weeks poor. We played some terrific stuff today."

Kemp also reserved praise for scorer McClean who netted his first goal for the club since a summer move from Wigan.

"I don't think anyone was doing somersaults when we signed him," he added. "Nobody thought he would be a big influence but he has come in and set the tone for the rest of the team with his energy."

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